In multicellular eukaryotes, RNA polymerase (Pol) II pauses transcription ~30–50 bp after initiation. While the budding yeast Saccharomyces has its transcription mechanisms mostly conserved with other eukaryotes, it appears to lack this fundamental promoter-proximal pausing. However, we now report that nearly all yeast genes, including constitutive and inducible genes, manifest two distinct transcriptional stall sites that are brought on by acute environmental signaling (e.g., peroxide stress). Pol II first stalls at the pre-initiation stage before promoter clearance, but after DNA melting and factor acquisition, and may involve inhibited dephosphorylation. The second stall occurs at the +2 nucleosome. It acquires most, but not all, elongation factor interactions. Its regulation may include Bur1/Spt4/5. Our results suggest that a double Pol II stall is a mechanism to downregulate essentially all genes in concert.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)